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Former opponent endorses Carmen Trutanich in D.A. race

April 11, 2012 |  2:27 pm

Carmen Trutanich
A prosecutor and a former contender in the race for Los Angeles County district attorney is throwing his support behind City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, the candidate’s campaign announced Wednesday. 

Mario Trujillo, a former gang prosecutor who heads the D.A.’s Bellflower branch, was one of several county prosecutors running to succeed Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley before he announced last month he was suspending his candidacy for health reasons. 

Before ending his campaign, Trujillo was second in fundraising next to Trutanich with more than $400,000 raised, according to Trutanich’s campaign. 

While securing key endorsements such as Sheriff Lee Baca, Trutanich’s run has stirred controversy, including when he touted endorsements from three law enforcement unions who had yet to decide on  a candidate. His campaign also hit a snag this week when a Superior Court judge ruled he could not refer to himself as "Los Angeles chief prosecutor" on the June ballot.

Trujillo said in a statement he was backing Trutanich because the candidate “recognizes that we cannot arrest our way out of the current gang problem and instead we must hold the school districts accountable to expand anti-gang, job training and after-school programs to keep kids safe." 

Trutanich is one of six contenders for the post, including Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey; Deputy Dist. Atty. Alan Jackson; Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers; Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace, and Deputy Dist. Atty. John L. Breault III. 


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-- Victoria Kim

Photo: L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times